BUFFALO, N.Y. - Carl Paladino told a GOP delegate from Utah she "should be hung for treason" for attempting to block the Republican Party's nomination of Donald Trump and then threatened to confront her at the convention in Cleveland next week, according to an email obtained by WGRZ-TV.
Stefani Williams, who published an open letter on behalf of the "Free the Delegates" movement, received the following three-sentence message on July 9 from Paladino:
"You should be hung for treason Stefani. There will not be a Republican Party if you attempt to replace Trump. I'll be in your face in Cleveland."
Williams forwarded a copy of the email to WGRZ-TV. The email addresses have been redacted for privacy purposes.
"I don't wish him ill, he is evidently very passionate in his support for his candidate," Williams said, "but threatening those he disagrees with is way out of line -- especially considering he is a surrogate for a presidential candidate, a GOP delegate, and one of two New York representatives who sit on the GOP Convention Credentials Committee. I was completely taken aback by his email to me. It sounded like it came from a mobster."
Paladino serves as the Trump campaign's honorary co-chair in New York. In April, he also introduced Trump at rallies in Buffalo and Rochester.
In addition to his visible role with the Trump campaign, Paladino also serves as an elected member of the Buffalo School Board. In 2010, he was the Republican Party's nominee for governor in New York.
Reached by phone Friday afternoon, Paladino refused a request for an on-camera interview, but he confirmed he sent the email to Williams.
Paladino then issued this written statement via email:
"What the person was proposing is to encourage violation of the rules of the Republican Party under which Donald Trump rose legally to be the presumptive candidate. The person is being treacherous to the party in doing so and as such the colloquialism is appropriate and if the person's underwear is all bunched up over his or her sensitivity to my reaction then tell the person if he or she can't take the heat of what he or she dished out, then get out of the kitchen."
Williams is not the only GOP delegate Paladino has threatened. Kim Fralick, a GOP delegate from Louisiana and a fellow member of the "Free the Delegates" campaign to block Trump, also provided a series of emails to WGRZ-TV. Responding to a mass email promoting "Free the Delegates," Paladino told Fralick, "your treacherous goal will not be forgotten KIM." Fralick responded, "I certainly hope not!" Paladino then responded with two follow-up emails, including one message that told Fralick to "get back on your medications."
In a phone conversation, Paladino admitted sending those emails to Fralick.
Fralick, who lives in the Baton Rouge area, was not aware Paladino was an elected school board member in Buffalo. Fralick herself is a council member in the city of Central, La."Learning that he is an elected official disappoints me even more," Fralick said in a phone interview from Louisiana. "Because I'm an elected official in my city, and I would never, ever respond to anyone like that."Just last week, Paladino's comments on Twitter made headlines as well. On July 6, his account posted the following message: "Lynch @LorettaLynch let a grand jury decide," referring to the Attorney General's handling of Hillary Clinton's email scandal. A staffer for Paladino said the tweet was a mistake. It was removed a half-hour later.